A local church is looking to expand its services by way of a new addition to the property.
Deacon Rick Minch, liturgical services director for Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, spoke about some of the challenges the church is now facing, as the congregation continues to expand.
“We are now at a point where the parish is growing, and the town is growing,” Minch said. “We have undertaken this project to build a ministry building which will have meeting rooms that we can designate for each class of young people, and also do all of our other ministries in there.”
At present, the church provides space for groups including the Daughters of Mary, the Knights of Columbus, and a rosary group.
Additionally, Minch said the church also offers meeting room space for baptism classes and a bereavement group, but at present, the facility just does not provide enough room for all of the groups.
“We have a parish hall right now which is not really designed for meeting rooms,” Minch said. “We have religious education classes there and some other things, but it gets noisy if you try to have more than one thing going on at the same time, such as a second-grade class and a fourth-grade class. It’s just too loud.”
As a result, Minch and church officials are gathering pricing estimates for the new addition, expected to be roughly 6,500 square feet, with seven large rooms and movable walls.
“Once those come in, then we can go to the diocese and tell them how much it’s going to cost and determine, based on how much money we have, if we can go forward,” he said. “We are still raising funds right now to do this project. We have about 450 registered families, and in religious education, for example, we have over 100 young people every year. We also have lots of retirees and snowbirds. Obviously, when we get our snowbirds in, our population goes up.”
Minch also said the church has already chosen a name for the new addition, once it’s completed.
“Regina Caeli is the name,” he said. “Our Pastor, Father Henry picked that out, which means ‘Queen of Heaven.’ The main building has been here for 12 years. Before that, the old church building, built back in the seventies was on this same site. It was eventually condemned and leveled. We had our mass in the hall during the time this current building was being constructed. I have been a deacon for a little over seven years, and I’ve been a Catholic my whole life. My wife and I have lived here in Pahrump since 2006.”
While living in the Pahrump Valley, Minch also noted how much the local economy has fluctuated over time.
“With the recession years ago everybody got hurt but the parish is growing again,” he said. “People left the parish and some people even left the town. With the economy picking up, it seems that many people are coming back, and with all the new construction going on in the area, we are just trying to prepare for the influx of people coming in. We figure if we only get 10 percent, it could swell our registered families to the six or 700 range.”
As the project is ongoing, Minch said he and church officials will use a series of regular community fundraisers, and a bit of divine intervention to assist in the endeavor.
“Our community has been praying and even created a special prayer asking for our Blessed Mother’s intercession with her Son,” Minch noted. “Of course finances are needed, but prayer is the key to the success of our project. We have a big fundraiser coming up on Oct. 5, with our fish fry. We are going to do a big raffle where we raffle off all kinds of prizes including a 65-inch television, a hockey stick signed by Wayne Gretzky, and some other exciting prizes. We always have a fish fry every month and we have 14 throughout the year.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @pvtimes